BP fund lawyer to refuse 100,000 Gulf spill disaster claims

BP fund lawyer to refuse 100,000 Gulf spill disaster claims --Vast majority of 130,000 unsettled claims do not have adequate documentation, says [9/11 wh*re] Ken Feinberg 01 Mar 2011 Upwards of 100,000 claims arising from the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico may never be paid, the beleaguered administrator of the oil company's compensation fund has acknowledged. A defensive Ken Feinberg, under fire from the Obama administration, Gulf leaders and local business for the slow pace of payouts for losses due to the BP spill, said the vast majority of the 130,000 unsettled claims did not have adequate documentation. "Here is the problem that I continually have to address … roughly 80% of the claims that we now have in the queue lack proof," Feinberg told foreign reporters in Washington. "That is a huge number." [Yes, and one that's the inverse of his IQ, I'm sure.]

BP directors take bonuses for year of Gulf of Mexico oil spill

BP directors take bonuses for year of Gulf of Mexico oil spill --Two of BP's most senior directors have taken bonus payments for their work in the year of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill 03 Mar 2011 Byron Grote, finance director, and Iain Conn, head of downstream, had their £800,000 and £724,000 salaries and benefits topped up with rewards of £380,000 and £310,500 respectively. The bonuses amounted to 30pc of the full potential payout. BP’s annual report also revealed that Tony Hayward, the former chief executive who left the company after the worst of the crisis, will get almost £100,000 a year for his work as a non-executive of BP’s Russian joint venture TNK-BP. He left the board in October with £2m in salary and severance payments, plus a £600,000-a-year pension. [Yeah, let's cut more teachers' salaries, shall we? Maybe Sharron Angle is right: Only Second Amendment remedies can stop the insanity. Oh. Save yourself an email and me the time. I know BP is a UK-based company. I don't care. It's all part of the same septic tank that needs to be *flushed.* And, the bonus here is that I got 'septic tank' and 'Sharron Angle' into the same paragraph. --LRP]

Two journalists killed in Iraq

Two journalists killed in Iraq 01 Mar 2011 An Iraqi journalist reporting for the satellite television station al-Ittijah, whose name has not been released, was among those killed in a blast that targeted a celebration in Ramadi. The killing occurred a week after another Iraqi journalist was shot dead in Mosul by a group of unidentified men. Over the weekend, a number of reporters were detained during and after their coverage of the mass demonstrations that took place in central Baghdad's al-Tahrir Square. They said they were handcuffed, blindfolded, beaten and threatened by security forces while held in custody for nine hours. [Saddam Hussein: The better deal, six ways to Sunday.]

Student sues FBI for planting GPS on his car

Student sues FBI for planting GPS on his car --Egyptian-American college student in Calif. suing FBI for secretly putting GPS tracking device on his car 02 Mar 2011 An Egyptian-American college student who says he has never done anything that should raise the attention of U.S. law enforcement officials is suing the FBI for secretly putting a GPS tracking device on his car. Twenty-year-old Yasir Afifi says a mechanic doing an oil change in October discovered the device stuck under his car with magnets. His friend posted pictures online to see if anyone could identify it. Afifi says two days later, FBI agents showed up outside his apartment in San Jose, California, and demanded their property back. [I hate when that happens! <g>]

Documents Reveal TSA Plan to Body-Scan Pedestrians, Train Passengers

Documents Reveal TSA Plan to Body-Scan Pedestrians, Train Passengers 02 Mar 2011 Giving Transportation Security Administration agents a peek under your clothes may soon be a practice that goes well beyond airport checkpoints. Newly uncovered documents show that as early as 2006, the Department of Homeland Security has been planning pilot programs to deploy mobile scanning units that can be set up at public events and in train stations, along with mobile x-ray vans capable of scanning pedestrians on city streets. The non-profit Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) on Wednesday published documents it obtained from the Department of Homeland Security showing that from 2006 to 2008 the agency planned a study of new anti-terrorism technologies that EPIC believes raise serious privacy concerns. [Yes, but since the TSA proposals were implemented by Bush regime, the GOP's fine with it.]

Bradley Manning Charged With 22 New Counts, Including Capital Offense

Bradley Manning Charged With 22 New Counts, Including Capital Offense 02 Mar 2011 The Army has filed 22 new charges against suspected WikiLeaks source Bradley Manning, among them a capital offense for which the government said it would not seek the death penalty. The charges, filed Tuesday but disclosed only Wednesday, include aiding the enemy, theft of public property or records, computer fraud, transmitting defense information and wrongfully causing intelligence to be published on the internet knowing it would be accessible to the enemy. The aiding the enemy charge is a capital offense which potentially carries the death penalty.

WikiLeaks: Bradley Manning faces 22 new charges

WikiLeaks: Bradley Manning faces 22 new charges --'Aiding the enemy' among charges Army private faces in military's investigation into leak of classified documents 02 Mar 2011 The Army said Wednesday it has filed 22 additional charges against Pfc. Bradley E. Manning, the soldier suspected of providing classified government documents published by the WikiLeaks anti-secrecy group. CBS News reports that the new charges for the first time formally accuse Manning of aiding the enemy. Army officials said the charges accuse Manning of using unauthorized software on government computers to extract classified information, illegally download it and transmit the data for public release by what the Army termed "the enemy."

2 US airmen killed in Frankfurt airport shooting

2 US airmen killed in Frankfurt airport shooting 02 Mar 2011 A man armed with a handgun attacked a bus carrying U.S. Air Force troops at Frankfurt airport Wednesday, killing two airmen and wounding two others before being taken into custody, authorities said. Boris Rhein, the top security official in the German state of Hesse where the shooting took place, identified the shooter as a 21-year-old from Kosovo. Family members in Kosovo described the suspect as a devout Muslim, who was born and raised in Germany and worked at the airport.

Bill Would Make Some Airport Screening Sexual Assault

Bill Would Make Some Airport Screening Sexual Assault --Those Convicted Would be Required to Register As Sex Offenders 02 Mar 2011 Lawmakers and residents engaged in heated debate Tuesday over a bill that would make random airport security pat-downs and body scans criminal in New Hampshire. The bill (HB628-FN) "makes the touching or viewing with a technological device of a person's breasts or genitals by a government security agent without probable cause a sexual assault," according to the introductory text of the bill. "Let's put their name on the sex offender registry, and maybe that will tell them New Hampshire means business," said bill co-sponsor Rep. Andrew Manuse, R-Derry.

Business Tax Cut May Carve Into Budgets of 19 States

Business Tax Cut May Carve Into Budgets of 19 States --Tax cut could cost 19 states as much as $5.3 billion in lost revenue over next few years 02 Mar 2011 Struggling states could lose as much as $5.3 billion in tax collections during the next few years in an unintended consequence of one of the lower-profile federal tax cuts that President Obama signed in December, according to a report released Tuesday. The tax-cut package the president signed in December is best known for extending the Bush-era tax rates for [at least] two years... But it included a business tax cut that could blow a hole in state budgets: a provision allowing businesses to deduct the full value of new equipment purchases from their taxes through 2011.

California should allow gay marriage-att'y general

California should allow gay marriage-att'y general 01 Mar 2011 California's attorney general urged a U.S. appeals court on Tuesday to permit gay marriages while it considers whether to overturn the state's ban on same-sex weddings. Attorney General Kamala Harris, in arguments filed with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, asked the court to dismiss its order prohibiting gay marriages in the most populous U.S. state while a lawsuit over California's ban unfolds.

2 US ships move closer to Libya, enter Suez Canal

2 US ships move closer to Libya, enter Suez Canal 02 Mar 2011 Egyptian officials say two U.S. warships have entered the Suez Canal on their way to the Mediterranean, moving closer to the Libyan coast after orders from Defense Secretary Robert Gates. The officials say amphibious assault ships USS Kearsarge and USS Ponce, entered the canal on Wednesday morning from the Red Sea. They say USS Kearsarge is carrying some 42 helicopters on board.

Gadhafi forces seize back rebel-held eastern town

Gadhafi forces seize back rebel-held eastern town --Rebels report that there was an aerial bombardment of Brega by Gadhafi's forces, who managed to take back the city after losing it in violent clashes with the rebels. 02 Mar 2011 Forces loyal to Muammar Gadhafi have recaptured a town in Libya's mostly rebel-held east, rebel military officers said on Wednesday, in an attempt to break the momentum of a popular rebellion against his 41-year-old rule. Forces sent by the Libyan leader had seized back Marsa El Brega after violent clashes with rebels who had controlled the town 800 km east of the capital Tripoli, the rebel officers told Reuters.

UN delegates 'walked out' during Clinton speech

UN delegates 'walked out' during Clinton speech 02 Mar 2011  Palestine's delegation to the UN human rights council walked out Monday in protest of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's speech in which she criticized the council for bias against Israel. The Palestinian representative in Geneva on Tuesday confirmed reports in the Arabic media that delegates stormed out of Clinton's speech, which was heavy on criticism of Israel's neighbors and the UN body.

U.S. Congress Set to Approve Bill Preventing Government Shutdown

U.S. Congress Set to Approve Bill Preventing Government Shutdown 02 Mar 2011 The U.S. Congress is set to give final approval to a stopgap budget bill needed to prevent a government shutdown, clearing the way for difficult negotiations over spending levels for the rest of the 2011 fiscal year. The Senate is to approve today the stopgap measure funding the government until March 18, sending it to President Barack Obama for his signature. The bill, which cuts $4 billion in spending, passed the House yesterday by a 335-91 vote. It would replace a measure currently keeping the government in business that expires March 4.

Unions polling well, Scott Walker polling poorly

Unions polling well, Scott Walker polling poorly 01 Mar 2011 According to a new NYT/CBS poll, a third of Americans view them favorably, a quarter of Americans view them unfavorably, and the rest are undecided. The same poll showed Americans opposed weakening the bargaining rights of union members by an almost two-to-one margin. Nor does the public like the idea of cutting the pay or benefits of union employees to balance budgets: 56 percent opposed that strategy, while 37 percent supported it... A Pew poll released yesterday found the unions winning over the public in Wisconsin -- they led Walker by 11 points.

Gaddafi loyalists advance to east

Gaddafi loyalists advance to east 02 Mar 2011 Forces loyal to the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi are moving into rebel territory in the east, capturing an oil installation in the town of Brega. The BBC's John Simpson in the nearby city of Ajdabiya says the 100-vehicle convoy is expected to head towards it, and an arms dump there has been bombed. The city's defenders are in a high state of excitement and expecting an attack, our correspondent says.

Scientists mix H1N1, H9N2 to create hybrid viruses packed with 'greater killing power'

Scientists mix H1N1, H9N2 to create hybrid viruses packed with 'greater killing power' --'The possibility of novel pandemic strains being generated from reassortment between avian H9N2 and H1N1/2009 influenza viruses exists.' 28 Feb 2011 The H1N1 swine flu virus is compatible with a bird flu virus that is endemic in poultry in Asia and they can produce hybrid viruses packed with greater killing power, Chinese researchers warned on Monday. The scientists made 127 hybrid viruses by mixing genes of the H1N1 and the avian H9N2 virus in a laboratory, and eight of the hybrids turned out to be more virulent than either parents when tested in mice.

Israeli drone buzzes over S Lebanon

Israeli drone buzzes over S Lebanon 02 Mar 2011 An Israeli drone has penetrated Lebanese airspace and flown over the southern part of Lebanon in flagrant violation of a UN Security Council resolution. The Israeli aircraft crossed into Lebanese airspace over the village of al-Naqoura, located 91 kilometers (57 miles) south of the capital Beirut, at 6:05 a.m. local time (0305 GMT) on Tuesday and conducted several unwarranted flights, a statement released by the Lebanese military said.

'540 students abducted in Libya'

'540 students abducted in Libya' 02 Mar 2011 Forces loyal to Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi have reportedly abducted 540 university students along with a number of other Libyan citizens. The university students were kidnapped from their dormitories in the faculty of aerospace in Misrata, while a number of other Libyan citizens were kidnapped from the city of al-Zawiya, “informed sources” told Iran's Arabic-language news channel Al-Alam.

US Senate calls for no-fly zone on Libya

US Senate calls for no-fly zone on Libya 02 Mar 2011 The US Senate has unanimously passed a resolution calling for a no-fly zone over Libya as Washington is preparing the ground for military intervention in the oil-rich country. The symbolic resolution, passed on Tuesday, “urges the United Nations Security Council to take such further action as may be necessary to protect civilians in Libya from attack, including the possible imposition of a no-fly zone over Libyan territory.” The US Senate Armed Services Committee has announced that all options, including the military option, should be on the table.

US warships enter Egypt's Suez Canal

US warships enter Egypt's Suez Canal 02 Mar 2011 The USS Kearsarge and the Ponce, two US amphibious assault ships, have entered the Suez Canal on their way to Libya, a canal official says. The two US warships with hundreds of Marines on board headed towards Libya on Tuesday and entered Egypt's Suez Canal on Wednesday, Reuters reported. The ships were at the southern mouth of the canal, the official said, adding that they were expected to pass through by 3:30 p.m. or 4:00 p.m. local time.

Government overlap costs taxpayers billions, GAO reports

Government overlap costs taxpayers billions, GAO reports 02 Mar 2011 With Congress and the White House set to debate the merits of massive spending cuts, federal auditors have identified hundreds of overlapping government offices and programs that if merged or eliminated could save taxpayers billions of dollars. The U.S. government has, for example, more than 100 programs dealing with surface transportation issues, 82 that monitor teacher quality, 80 for economic development, 56 for "financial literacy," 20 offices or programs devoted to homelessness and 17 grant programs for disaster preparedness, according to a Government Accountability Office report released Tuesday. [How about the overlap in paying terrorist groups (Blackwater unsubs and DynCorp, etc.) to wreak havoc all over the globe? Apparently, the federal auditors 'forgot' to look at that one.]

US awards $215 million pacts for flu vaccines made with insect cells, e.coli

US awards $215 million pacts for flu vaccines made with insect cells, e.coli 28 Feb 2011 Drug makers Novavax Inc. and VaxInnate Inc. have won contracts worth a combined $215 million to develop flu vaccines for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In the wake of the[ir] swine flu pandemic, the World Health Organization has said health authorities need to ramp up the speed and volume of production during the[ir] next global outbreak... Rockville, Md.-based Novavax Inc. won a contract worth $97 million over three years, with an option to extend the contract for two years for a total value of $179.1 million. Novavax will develop new technology to make vaccines using insect cells. [We can't get the public option, or pay firemen and teachers -- but there's $215 million to pay pharma-terrorists to make vaccines with insect cells and e.coli, to 'battle' the outbreaks and pandemics that they themselves create? There's *trillions* available for endless Wall Street welfare/tax breaks, perpetual wars for oil and water, and for mercury-laden, insect-filled vaccines, but *nothing* for the victims of the sociopaths running this show. It's time - *long past time* - for American Revolution #2. --Lori Price]

Supreme Court Says AT&T Not Exempt From FOIA

Supreme Court Says AT&T Not Exempt From FOIA 28 Feb 2011 Corporations don’t reap the same privacy protections as do people, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously Tuesday. The court, with Justice Elena Kagan recused, said AT&T did not enjoy the "personal privacy" provision of the Freedom of Information Act as the telecom had claimed. The act exempts the government from publicly disclosing law enforcement records if they "constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy."

African commission asked to take case challenging CIA rendition program

African commission asked to take case challenging CIA rendition program 28 Feb 2011 A case filed before an African judicial body could open a new front in efforts by human rights groups to hold the CIA and its partners accountable for what they allege was the torture of innocent victims in secret "black site" prisons around the world. The case involves Mohammed al-Asad, who said he was arrested in late 2003 at his home in Tanzania, blindfolded and flown to a secret prison in Djibouti. He said he was subjected to two weeks of torture and inhuman treatment in a clandestine CIA rendition and detentions program designed to nab suspected terrorists.

Skyrocketing water bills mystify, anger residents

Skyrocketing water bills mystify, anger residents --Wilda Cobbis is astounded at a water bill that now totals $10,071. 01 Mar 2011 Imagine paying as much for water as you do for your mortgage. Residents throughout Atlanta are outraged by hundreds, even thousands of dollars in monthly spikes in their water bills, and have questioned the legitimacy of the charges for years. Now, they're demanding answers. Many of the problems arose after the installation of new, automated water meters, which began nearly five years ago, and involved contracts for meter installations, the electronic meters and software equipment.

US UK, French forces land in Libya

US UK, French forces land in Libya 01 Mar 2011 The United States, Britain and France have sent several hundred "defence advisors" to train and support the anti-Gadhafi forces in oil-rich Eastern Libya where "rebels armed groups" have apparently taken over. According to an exclusive report confirmed by a Libyan diplomat in the region “the three Western states have landed their "special forces troops in Cyrinacia and are now setting up their bases and training centres" to reinforce the rebel forces who are resisting pro-Qaddafi forces in several adjoining areas. A Libyan official who requested not to be identified said that the U.S. and British military gurus were sent on February 23 and 24 night through American and French warships and small naval boats off Libyan ports of Benghazi and Tobruk.

No bail for Mass. suspect held in plot to kill US pols

No bail for Mass. suspect held in plot to kill US pols 01 Mar 2011 A man accused in a terror plot to shoot shoppers at U.S. malls, assassinate two politicians and kill American troops in Iraq was denied bail Tuesday by a federal judge. U.S. District Court Judge George O'Toole Jr. ruled against granting bail for Tarek Mehanna, who was seeking release to better consult with his lawyers and because his lawyers said the case against him was "paper thin." Mehanna has been held without bail since October 2009 on charges including conspiring to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, al-Qaida [al-CIAduh].

Wisconsin's Walker Seeks Almost 22,000 Job Cuts in Budget

Wisconsin's Walker Seeks Almost 22,000 Job Cuts in Budget 01 Mar 2011 Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker proposed cutting almost 22,000 state jobs over two years and requiring workers to contribute more to their health and retirement plans to close a [GOP-created] $3.6 billion budget deficit [due to tax cuts for the wealthy and Walker the Whackjob's corpora-terrorist overlords]. The first-term Republican, whose plan to curb collective bargaining for public workers spurred protests across the U.S., would cut money for most state departments by 10 percent and lower public-education funds by more than $700 million..

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